A comment made by UFC flyweight fighter Cody Durden following his victory over opponent Qileng “the Mongolian Murderer” Aori drew immediate backlash, prompting Durden to apologize.
Racist remark: After claiming his first victory as a UFC fighter in a close decision on Saturday, Durden exclaimed that he sent Aori “back to China where he came from,” MMAmania reported.
- “I knew he was going to be tough, but I had to send him back to China where he came from,” Durden told commentator Daniel Cormier.
- After a momentary silence, Cormier finally said: “My man, congratulations. Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Cody Durden!”
- The remark did not go over well among UFC fans and observers who blasted the fighter on social media.
- UFC fighters Jeff Molina, Muhammad Mokaev, Casey O’Neill and Belal Muhammad were among those who called Durden out.
- Asked if he is taking his comments back during the post-fight interview, Durden said: “If they don’t like it, do something. Sign the contract. It doesn’t matter to me, you know. I said what I said and it is what it is… Emotions were high. It’s a fight business. He’s punching me in the face, and I was punching him in the face… It’s his family or mine, and tonight, my family eats.”
Aori’s response: Aori, who hails from Inner Mongolia, called the comment of his “coward” opponent “disgusting” in an Instagram post.
- “I destroyed this coward in the cage, but the judges gave him a chance to say something disgusting through his disgusting mouth,” the 28-year-old fighter wrote. “He can do nothing in the fight, and I saw fear through his eyes. He is a coward.”
- In a tweet, Durden defended his remark and even accused Aori of being disrespectful: “Listen, the guy was disrespectful, and wouldn’t shake my hand at the weigh-ins. After beating him, I simply meant he could go home wherever that may have been. I apologize if I offended anyone, that certainly was not my intention!”